black forest cake overhead shot

Chocolate-Cherry Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake Recipe- A moist chocolate cake studded with cherries and frosted with whipped cream, Black Forest Cake baked from scratch is an impressive dessert.

When I first baked a Black Forest Cake I was skeptical about whether we’d enjoy it for our dessert. Until I tried Cherry Clafoutis, I wasn’t big on cherries and whipped cream for frosting seemed like it would be too light for cake. It turns out,  we all decided that it was a keeper!!

Even my husband who could take or leave a cake (I know, I question his sanity), loved this. The chocolate cake was moist and flavorful, the frosting between the layers perfectly sweet while the whipped cream frosting on the outside kept it from being overpoweringly sweet.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that my concern for too much cherry flavor was unfounded and it complimented the rest of the cake quite nicely.

While a traditional Black Forest Cake is to be prepared with a type of cherry-flavored alcohol called kirschwasser (enough, I read, to make you feel it!), we obviously made some substitutions to eliminate the liquor which would make it a tad bit more expensive than I would like for a scratch-made cake.

Black Forest Cake was such a hit in our home it is now one of the most commonly requested cakes! See this is why I’m glad that we try new things, even if we are a bit nervous about how it will turn out.

Baking cake from scratch is really simple once you know the drill. And Black Forest Cake isn’t any more difficult. The cake baking is the same straightforward of creaming your butter & sugar together and making a separate mix of your dry and wet ingredients. And then you add them in, alternating back and forth until you have a beautiful batter.

After the baking though, things get a little fancier. The layers of the Black Forest Cake are cut in half. I simply eyeball a starter cut around the middle and then follow the line through. Then to make the layers moist and cherry flavor-spiked, they’re sprinkled with cherry juice or the kirschwasser before being frosted. So while there isn’t too much extra trouble, the payoff is an amazingly moist chocolate-cherry cake.

Chocolate Cherry Black Forest Cake Recipe A moist chocolate cake studded with cherries and frosted with whipped cream, Black Forest Cake baked from scratch is an impressive dessert.

Black Forest Cake

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black forest cake overhead shot

Chocolate Cherry Black Forest Cake

A moist chocolate cake studded with cherries and frosted with whipped cream, Black Forest Cake baked from scratch is an impressive dessert.

Ingredients

Scale
  • Cake
  • 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk
  • Frosting Between Layers
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained and reserved
  • ½ cup cherry juice
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
  • Frosting
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare two 9″ cake pans by greasing with shortening and dusting with flour.
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  6. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined.
  7. Pour into prepared pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
  9. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total.
  10. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup cherry juice.
  11. In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  12. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick (which is was), add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk. (I used milk and more than a couple teaspoons. I just kept adding a few at a time until it was at least spreadable.)
  13. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling.
  14. Top with 1/3 of the cherries.
  15. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  16. In a separate bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla to stiff peaks.
  17. Frost top and sides of cake.
  18. Sprinkle with chocolate garnish. I piped on some whipped topping with a large star tip and added the extra cherries on top.
  • Author: Reformation Acres

Recipe Credit

Black Forest Cake Recipe- A moist chocolate cake studded with cherries and frosted with whipped cream, Black Forest Cake baked from scratch is an impressive dessert.
Cake Stand: Fresh from the Market Farmstead Cakes

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14 Comments

  1. Ohhhh….my goodness. That looks like heaven. I sighed with happiness when I saw it! Thank you for sharing this!

  2. My husband would LOVE this! I appreciate that you’re cooking ethnic food, as that’s a focus on Fridays on my blog! Right now I’m working through China, but next month I was considering moving into German food! You should stop by and share your recipes in April when we switch. 🙂

  3. Upstatemom- No, you’re right… definitely not a weeknight cake. I wouldn’t call it difficult, there are just a lot of steps. I’m sure it would go much more quickly the second time around 😀 It’s delicious and worth it though!

  4. I love cherries!!! It looks very authentic! My mom went to Germany a few years ago and brought back pictures of the bakery cases (I know that’s crazy, huh?!). I’ll have to try this, looks good!

  5. oh wow that looks so good a little bit of heaven in each bite I am sure thanks for sharing this one I will be trying this one for sure

  6. Oh my! That looks AMAZING! I love the idea of cooking “ethnic” meals like that! It makes cooking more enjoyable for me when there’s a variety! 😀

    Thanks for the neat recipe!